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The state of Florida is a paradise for a wide variety of flora and fauna. These make the Sunshine state one of the most beautiful and inviting states in the country. But, all of these plants and animals come with a price. Since we have such a variety, it can sometimes be hard to figure out which critter is invading. This is especially true of the cockroach, which is often misclassified as a water bug or a Palmetto bug. Here are the most common cockroach species found in Northern Florida, and what you need to know most about them.
An American cockroach (often referred to as a palmetto bug) is mostly reddish-brown or mahogany in color with black markings and two yellowish circles just behind the head. Adults grow to be a little longer than 3 inches in length. They have long, almost straight antennae and six legs which are lined with spines. They have two wings that cover their entire back and are slightly longer than their body and both male and female American cockroaches are able to fly.
Normally these roaches prefer to live outside, preferring damp areas in places that are warm, such as underneath mulch or in flowerbeds. They are also quite numerous in the sewer systems in many cities in America. Though they'd rather be outside, they will enter homes in search of food and water. Places inside a home you might find an American cockroach include, kitchens, basements, bathrooms and laundry rooms, all places that tend to be warm and humid.
Cockroaches emit an odor caused by a chemical called an aggregation pheromone. This chemical causes these creatures to stick together in groups. This odor is often described as "musty." The larger the cockroach population, the more noticeable the odor.
These roaches are easy to identify by the two horizontal stripes on the pronotum behind their head. They are tan to light brown in color and grow to a length of about 13 to 16 mm. Younger German cockroaches are almost black in color - also with black stripes. These roaches have long almost straight antennae and six legs with spines. Though they have wings, they don't often fly.
German cockroaches are most commonly found indoors, though they are able to live outdoors in tropical environments. Like their American counterparts, they also prefer areas in a home that are very warm and moist. Typically these roaches are brought into a home inside boxes, bags, containers, used appliances, or other items. Once inside, they have no trouble moving from room to room, or between apartments, using pipes and plumbing.
Female German cockroaches only need to mate one time, but then can reproduce for the rest of their lives. On average they will produce an egg case, each containing 30 to 40 eggs, 4 to 6 times during the course of their lives.
This cockroach is nearly identical to the German cockroach with a few differences. Its wings are longer than the German cockroach, and Asian cockroaches are strong flyers that are attracted to light.
Unlike the German cockroach, this roach prefers to live outdoors, and is usually found in tropical and subtropical climates. It was first introduced to the tropical climate of Florida in the late 1980s, but can now be found in several southern states. Around man-made structures, the cockroaches prefer gardens, shaded areas, mulch, and leaf litter.
You are likely to find these roaches on lamps, televisions, and computer screens. They love the light.
The smokybrown cockroach is, as you may have guessed, a smoky brown color. Their heads appear shiny black, with slightly curved antennae sticking out, and six legs that are lined with spines. Smokybrown cockroaches can grow to be around 38 mm in length with wings that extend beyond their bodies. These cockroaches are also good flyers.
Since they dehydrate easily, these roaches prefer very moist, warm areas where they are protected from the elements. They can be found in tree holes, under mulch, and around eaves and soffits.
Although these roaches prefer to eat decaying plant matter, they will eat anything available, including animal feces, dead trees or dead bodies, and even their own young.
If you have a problem with roaches in your Florida home or business, call McCall today, and we can help you solve your pest problems!